Right Person + Right Message + Right Time.
Developing a successful email marketing campaign can deliver incredible outcomes for businesses. In fact, it has been indicated that if an email is relevant and personalised, it can deliver up to 18 times more revenue than a general broadcast. As with all marketing communications, it is essential that you maintain your brand integrity through consistency. Beyond that, an effective email marketing campaign stems from three critical elements: delivery to the right person, with the right message at the right time.
Know your target audience. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is critical that you know who your customer is. If you are emailing all and sundry with no rhyme or reason, then your cut through, your return on investment, is going to suffer.
Firstly, you need to ensure you have permission to email the person, but you also need to categorise or segment your audience. This could be by interests, purchase behaviour, industry or other psychographic or demographic information.
It’s imperative that you determine who the right person is for the offer, and then develop your message accordingly.
It’s vital that you not only convince your audience to open your email with a compelling subject line, but also to act upon the information you have provided. This requires clear objective setting; why are you emailing them in the first place – is it because you want them to buy something, go into store, or is it an informative message? Tailor your message to suit the segment you are targeting to ensure it is relevant and personalised to your audience.
Embed links so your readers can access more information, and test your email to ensure it works. Not just for spelling errors, graphics and that links are all working, but also it’s appearance across different devices – Hubspot recently reported that 80.8% of users read their emails on mobile devices. Testing is often forgotten but it is a vital step in every email campaign.
It’s important that you send your email at a time that suits your reader. The time you hit “send” should not be a consequence of when you happen to finish preparing and testing it, but more about when you are going to have the most cut through.
In Australia current figures indicate that Wednesday and Thursday are the most popular days for sending emails. Whilst open rates remain pretty steady throughout the working week, Monday and Friday record the highest rates at around 40% each, according to Vision 6.
Most critically you need to know what suits your customer (and their time zone) and the offer you are promoting. If it is a “weekend only” offer, there is little sense in emailing customers on a Monday as this could negatively effect your sales leading up to the weekend (why would they pay full price during the week when they know it’s on sale on the weekend?). Similarly, if your customer works a normal Monday to Friday week, there would be little point emailing them on a Friday evening.
Measure & Refine
As with all activities, it’s important to track the success of your emails. Do this by using the key email marketing metrics including open rate, bounce rate and click through rate, plus – if you are able to – measure your sales against the campaign and your original objectives. Each campaign will give you the opportunity for key learnings so that you can improve on your next campaign!
I’m a big fan of sharing great resources when I find them. So, here are a few reports and whitepapers that I think are worth a look see: